Updated: Thursday, 19 June 2014 02:07 | By Agence France-Presse

Xavi, Pique dropped by Spain for Chile clash

Spain coach Vicente del Bosque axed Gerard Pique and Xavi Hernandez from his starting XI for the World Cup Group B game against Chile in Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday.

Xavi, Pique dropped by Spain for Chile clash

Spain's midfielder Xavi controls the ball as he takes part in a training session at The Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro on June 17, 2014 - by Martin Bernetti

The Barcelona pair, centre-back Pique and long-serving midfielder Xavi, paid the price after defending champions Spain were humiliated 5-1 by the Netherlands in their opening game on Friday.

Javi Martinez of Bayern Munich took over from Pique alongside Sergio Ramos in central defence at the Maracana, while Xavi was replaced by his Barcelona colleague Pedro Rodriguez.

Del Bosque kept faith with captain and goalkeeper Iker Casillas despite the veteran Real Madrid shot-stopper producing an error-strewn performance against the Dutch, for which he later issued an apology.

Chile coach Jorge Sampaoli made one change to the team that beat Australia 3-1 on Friday, with Osasuna midfielder Francisco Silva coming in for Palmeiras playmaker Jorge Valdivia.



Iker Casillas (capt); Cesar Azpilicueta, Javi Martinez, Sergio Ramos, Jordi Alba; Sergio Busquets, Xabi Alonso; Pedro Rodriguez, David Silva, Andres Iniesta; Diego Costa

Coach: Vicente del Bosque (ESP)


Claudio Bravo (capt); Mauricio Isla, Gary Medel, Gonzalo Jara, Eugenio Mena; Marcelo Diaz, Charles Arranguiz, Francisco Silva; Arturo Vidal; Alexis Sanchez, Eduardo Vargas

Coach: Jorge Sampaoli (ARG)

Referee: Mark Geiger (USA)

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